BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Buffalo Zoo says a visitor was arrested after climbing into a restricted area.
According to the zoo, the visitor went over a public barrier near the polar bear exhibit. The area was between a public pathway and the exhibit barrier.
“This breach into a restricted area is, effectively, trespassing,” the zoo said.
Other zoo guests told staff about the incident, and so, the man tried to leave the zoo. They say security officers followed him into the parking lot, and he was then arrested by Buffalo police.
Authorities identified him as Lackawanna resident Marwan Taher.
“Had he been successful in getting through the secondary enclosure, the only option would have been to euthanize the animal in order to save his life,” Police Lt. Jeff Rinaldo said. “So, his actions were not only foolish, but extremely dangerous.”
Police say Taher tried to take a selfie through a mesh fence.
“The safety of our visitors and our animals is paramount to us and the public barriers are intended for that purpose,” Norah B. Fletchall, Buffalo Zoo President/CEO, said. “While intent is unknown, we are proud of how our staff handled the incident and are grateful for the excellent responsiveness by the Buffalo Police Department.”
Neither of the polar bears, Luna and Sakari, were hurt.